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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

PALM CIVETS

the times of Belon we are told (by him) that Genets were
common and tame at Constantinople.
JPoiana, containing a single African species,, a spotted and
entirely G-enet-like animal, has been separated as a distinct
genus. Dr. Mivart, however, holds it to be a frionodon which
has acquired a G-enet-like tarsus.
^A.rctictis> containing but one species, -<4. 'binturong, the
Biiiturong, is in some ways an. exceptional form. It is a black
arboreal creature of not very wide range in the Oriental region,
with a fully prehensile tail. This feature and its plantigrade
foot with naked sole have led to its being regarded as more allied
to the Arctoidea. It is, however, undoubtedly an ally of
Paradoxurus. The caecum is small, or may be quite absent.
The dentition is I •§- C -J- Pm |- M |-. The structure of the
animal has been investigated by Garrod.1
The genus Fossa is a "Viverrine confined to Madagascar.
There is but one species, F* dcvufoe'ntoni, the " ITossane/* It is
distinguished from Viverra by the presence of two bare spots on
the under surface of the metatarsus in the hind-limb, and by the
absence of a scent pouch. The animal is not much spotted and
striped, biit the striping in th§ young is much more marked.
Of the genus Parado&urus there are some ten or a dozen species,
belonging entirely to the Oriental region. The teeth are as in
Viverra, but occasionally the molars are reduced to one. The
pupils are vertical. The tail though long is not prehensile, " but
the animal appears to have the power of coiling it to some extent,
and in caged specimens the coiled condition, not unfrequently
. becomes confirmed and permanent" (Blanford). This fact
accounts for the name Paradoxuriis; for a prehensile tail is
hardly to be expected in an animal of the zoological position of
the Palm Civets, and yet its occasional twisting led originally
to the view that it was so. The genus has scent glands. The
dentition is I ^ C -J- Pm £ M -f-. .P. niger, the Indian Palm Civet,
is, like other species, not often to be seen in a wild condition. It
is arboreal, and, like other members of the genus, feeds "upon a
mixed diet, consisting of all kinds of small Vertebrata and insects,
varied by fruit. Another species, P. grwyi, is so distinctly vege-
tarian in its habits that it makes considerable havoc in pine-apple
beds in the Andaman Islands.
1 JProc. Zool. JSoc. 1873, p. 196.